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“They do great work, I learned all I know from them.”
Carpenter ants are the shoemaker elves of house building. While you sleep, millions of these critters come out to do construction work all night long in the dark where their black bodies blend into the shadows like six-legged ninja.
Unfortunately, most humans are not thankful for their efforts as the ants do not ask the home owners if they want the new addition first before beginning construction.
edit Colony life
Like nearly all ant species, carpenters live in colonies of mostly all females that don't reproduce that make up all of their working classes and military. The male drones do absolutely nothing but fly around and have sex.
Their government is a monarchy headed by a ruling king and queen. It is often misunderstood that ants don't have kings, but this is actually because the kings don't mate with the queen, they prefer to join her in having sex with all the male drones, meaning the king is actually a queen. You can see why there is confusion on this.
Carpenter ants are connoisseurs of art, building galleries during the day while the humans are awake. Their galleries are generally filled with wood art.
Some varieties of carpenter ant have the ability to commit suicide by exploding, spraying a toxic glue around them. Statistics show that over 76% of these deaths are caused by construction explosive accidents, 18% are in a valiant effort to protect the colony, and the last half are because the ants hate their lives and may be trying to take out a drone or one of the queens with them.
They live where houses need to be built, or torn down, or both.
Sometimes they can be found in forests, this is only temporary while they cut down trees with which they will make boards to build you a new deck (whether you want one or not).
If you poke them, they will eat your finger. Ok, that last bit was a lie, just checking to see if you were paying attention.
Watch your step.
Very few finished carpenter ant designs actually exist due to the dilemma that when their work is in full swing, humans label it as an "infestation" and exterminate them before they can finish.
The infamous London Bridge kept falling down because human architects of that time period were incompetent. If they had just let carpenter ants have a try, things may have been better. Or maybe it would have been worse, we'll never know.
A special breed built the guillotines that offed many royal heads during the French Revolution. These ants were a hue of green and thus were called peas-ants. This wasn't their first job in the country, in fact the entire nation was founded by ants fleeing the human pest control squads, that's why it was called Free Ants, which the humans corrupted to just France when they took over.
The great pyramids were not constructed by ants. They shouldn't even be mentioned here as they are totally irrelevant.